Okay, I confess, I didn't read all of the responses, but did a fast scan after the first 5 or 6. I did get the direction of the comments. I went in a new direction for defense, no, let's call it real: WAR. This guy Gizmo
sez, don't get infected.
The ideas are not all mine; actually few are mine. If you see one of your ideas without attribution, forgive me, and speak out, claim it. Beginning with a fresh install of XP Professional behind a router I don't have to download SP2 and SP3; I have them on disc. I install antivirus and software firewall (with HIPS feature) and leave a default settings. I harden the system. I begin by using Local Security Policy and applying a template that you can get from Microsoft IP Security Policies on Local Computer: I use the IPrules For Home Use but with one exception, I uncheck Deny All UDP Traffic. You do this if you want to update your computer clock with a time server on the internet; if you don't leave it checked. You can make these settings yourself, but a template makes it easier. You still have to check the settings.
These are basic IP rules that give the home user only what they need to browse the web, get files and email. Other than that, all other ports are locked down. .
Disable all unneeded, unnecessary Services; Uninstall Telnet. Turn of Simple File sharing.
Two sites that can offer suggestions, but think about them, which ones will apply to your situation: http://labmice.techtarget.com/articles/win...tychecklist.htm
. Other resources: http://www.lbl.gov/ITSD/Security/systems/w...-checklist.html
and for free support software Nirsoft
and Windows Sysinternals
Lock down XP Pro with local settings, harden it, and keep all software updated. For your core security use a router with SPI firewall in it, use an effective antivirus with antispyware that is light on resources, use a software firewall light on resources, use a sandbox program, and SpywareBlaster. You don't need a separate realtime antispyware. My selections for these are
Linksys WRT54G2 V1 but helpful guide: http://www.firewallguide.com/wireless.htm
Eset's NOD32 Antivirus
Online Armor (paid, also has a free version and a version with antivirus: Kaspersky)
Sandboxie (free and paid versions. I have paid.)
SpywareBlaster (venerable veteran of the internet wars)
TallEmu (Online Armor) and Sandboxie have their own forums; the Eset forum is hosted by WildersSecurity Forum.
Go to their sites and read their guides.
To check antiviruses go to AV-Comparatives
To check firewalls go to Matousec
For everything Home PC Firewall GuideSpyware WarriorNonagsBlack Viper
Use Mozilla Firefox or Opera; although IE7is more secure than previous versions.
I use several, all Gecko browsers: Firefox (default), Flock (for social sites), and K-Meleon and K-Ninja. I use Firefox portable and Iron version of Google browser on usb drives; portable Thunderbird.
Basic security extensions for Firefox and Flock (if the Flock extension site doesn't have it use the Firefox extension (Flock is Seamonkey under the hood): NoScript, CSLite or Permit Cookies, KeyScrambler, McAfee SiteAdvisor, NetCraft AntiPhishing Toolbar, and RefControl. I run all browsers and email clients sandboxed. I have to explicitly allow malicious software to write to my system. The antivirus still works to read malware.
I use the mail clients Mozilla Thunderbird (default) and Windows Live Mail to download to my desktop email from twelve of my fourteen email addresses; two I check with my mobile. Reason I have so many, I have internet accounts in the City and the Rural. When I am in the City I get 12 and the same in the Rural.
Extensions for Thunderbird: Allow HTML Temp, the only one you need; set Thunderbird to receive all email Plain Text and you can allow html if you think it is safe for each. All email clients are run sandboxed.
There are details I forgot or left for you to find on the research sites given. The last security app is hardwired, no software and is superior to any computer, security app hardware or software, and if used properly you, with the help of the apps I use, will probably avoid infection. Your brain. The brain of an imbecile or moron is superior to any computer. The computer to simulate human walking weighs too much to put in the robot. Imbeciles and moron walk with ease, some get elected to the congress. Use your brain!
Some ondemand scanners and diagnostic programs I use (other than the NirSoft and Sysinternals ones) for defense:
GMER(and catchme), IceSword, Rootkit Unhooker, ewido anti-spyware microscanner, Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware, SUPERantispyware (free), Trojan Remover (only one not free. I have had this a long time; you pay once and get all new updates forever, or until you die. You may use it as ondemand or schedule it to scan on boot.)
I also use PGP Desktop and even though I and family and friends only encrypt about 11% of our emails (last year) it is a necessity for me, especially since the revelations about the NSA spying of the Bush administration. The NSA can't break this encryption. I don't use wireless networking, only wired. You don't need to take your laptop into the backyard. Get a life. Cook steaks, cavort with wife and kids, mow the lawn with a push mower, and do other life things.
Don't do banking on a mobile! Use wired networks! Learn hacking so you know how those miscreants think and the possible attack vectors. You don't have to become an expert.
Don't get infected!http://www.techsupportalert.com/how-to-secure-your-pc.php
If you use Sandboxie, you can use the Windows Firewall or any of the top recommended firewalls at Matousec, router, any of top 3 free antiviruses or top three or four at AV-Comparatives, and a few ondemand scanners.
I have XP Professional ver.2002, SP3, AMD Athlon 1.19 GHz, 768 MB of RAM and with Online Armor, NOD32, PGP, and Sandboxie (when browsing and emailing), Weather Watcher, Copernic Desktop Search, MozyHome Backup, and PGP I don't perceive any slowdown or drain on my system. Firefox and Thunderbird are open now too, so is Say The Time and a few small apps(in assembly) and the RAM free 263 MB, Commit charge about 30% a little more or less, If you use the Windows Firewall, don't use PGP, a desktop search, or desktop weather the values will be lower. I upped my original 512 MB and, though the tech said that upping it to a grand would give just a little more juice and might not be worth it (I'm poor), I may up it to a grand.
Don't use suites, too heavy. Use Sandboxie as the core and work around it.
I have finished my rant. Come on take it apart, sift, measure, and tell me my damn fool measures won't work. Add details that my feeble brain missed. Tell me about safe and reliable sources of freeware, objective tests.